As a small child, Colby Laney learned to play the fiddle, influenced by his father Barte, an accomplished bluegrass musician. Sports soon captured his interest, though, and throughout elementary school, he says, he was “always chasing baseballs and basketballs” rather than playing music. In middle school, Laney was cut from the basketball team, and was “pretty down about it.” Trying to find something else to occupy his time, he took up the guitar again at his father’s encouragement. “By the next year I didn’t even want to play basketball.” Music has been his passion ever since.
In high school Laney played with Highway Bound, with friends the Poteat and Grindstaff families. Highway Bound still plays festivals and benefits on occasion. Later he played in the Linville Ridge Band, an experience that he says “helped me more than anything I’d done … it made me listen a lot more.”
A former student at East Tennessee State University, Laney played in the ETSU bluegrass band, which toured widely and appeared at the Carter Fold. Filling in on guitar for Mountain Heart, Laney appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, and in the summer of 2009 toured with the bluegrass band Next Best Thing. He has also won the guitar contest at the Western North Carolina State Fair, and played mandolin in the Josh Goforth Band.
Colby Laney is available to play for concerts, festivals, and other engagements.